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Fun Holiday Games for Middle School Math


If you’re looking for a few fun holiday games (math and other) for middle school classes as you head into the holiday season, look no further!

Maybe you want to increase engagement when the holiday schedule, interruptions, and distractions interfere with student concentration. 

Or maybe you’re having holiday parties. 

Either way, I have several game ideas for you!

These activities are a great way to keep your students engaged and challenged. 

I like holiday games to be academic or require students to do some thinking, so that’s what I’ll be sharing here:-)

Holiday Game 1: Around the World

The first game on the list is “Around the World.”

This math activity is a great way to review math concepts. This game has been around for a LONG time, so I’m sure there are many variations. I’ll share the way we played.

When we played in 6th grade (and 5th and 4th), students stood in a big circle, and I held a math flash card up for the first 2 students. 

  • The student to answer first moved to stand by the next student in the circle, and I showed a new math card.
  • The student who answered first moved on.
  • The first student to get back to their starting point, or made it ‘around the world,’ was the winner (and if no one got back to the start, the student who moved farthest was the winner.)

You can use any types of math cards, depending on what you’d like students to practice. Basic operation flash cards are often the easiest to use, but if you’re working on other concepts that don’t require written work, those would also work well….like basic fraction identification or showing a fraction card and having students simplify it.

A few other Around the World topic suggestions:

  • Fraction, Decimal, Percent conversions
  • Vocabulary (you read the definition and students answer with the vocabulary term)
  • Square roots 
  • Simple exponent problems

Holiday Game 2: Christmas Carol Matching Game

This isn’t a math game, but could be used during math class if you’re having a holiday party.

This particular matching game uses the titles of Christmas carols, but you could definitely use other holiday names, key words, song titles, etc in the same way.

As  you can see in the picture, students would match the song title with a phrase that represents the song. 

For example, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ matches with ‘A Dozen 24-Hour Holiday Time Periods.’

A second, more challenging version of the cards uses the ‘initials’ of the song. So instead of the ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas,’ students would match TTDOC with  ‘A Dozen 24-Hour Holiday Time Periods.’ 

To use the cards as a memory/matching game:

  • Put students into groups of 2-3
  • Start with all of the cards spread out and facing down
  • Have students take turns flipping over 2 cards at a time to see if they can find a match
  • If the cards don’t match, they are flipped back over and the next student takes a turn
  • When students find a match, they keep the cards and can take another turn
  • The game is over when all matches have been found; the winner has the most matches

Figuring these out can be challenging, so you may want to pair students up as a ‘team’ and see which team can correctly match the phrases and the titles first, without the added difficulty of having the cards face down.

You could also use these cards as partnering cards when you want to randomly partner students, any time during the holiday season. 

Holiday Game 3: Truth or Dare Game

Truth or Dare is ALWAYS a favorite in math class, and using it during the holiday season is sure to keep students engaged!

The topic doesn’t need to be a holiday topic, but can be whatever math concept you’re teaching. You could even use concepts from earlier in the year so students get a review. 

For more details about this game, check out the Task Cards With a Twist blog post.

Holiday Game 4: Footloose

Footloose is also a favorite for any time of year, but at the holiday times, you can mix in some holiday-themed task cards that will still require students to use their math skills. 

I have a few fall/winter sets of task cards that offer a mixed review of math concepts. These are perfect when you’ve finished one unit and don’t really want to begin something new, BUT you still want some engaging math practice as you head into the holidays. 

Check out the Footloose post for more Footloose details!

Winter Footloose Task Cards

Fall Footloose Task Cards

What are your favorite holiday games for middle school?



Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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